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Issue 2.6


FTP Suite 3.2

Issue: 2.6 (July/August 2004)
Author: Toby Rush
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,900
Starting Page Number: 8
Article Number: 2603
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Full text of article...

Server connections are a pretty simple concept in REALbasic, and REAL Software has been making them easier with every major upgrade. Modern networking protocols, however, can get fairly complex. Itsnot that the concepts are difficult to understand, but handling every little nook and cranny of a given protocol can take quite a bit of time.

One of the notable omissions from REALbasic's server subclasses is an object specifically devoted to FTP. Pyramid Design's FTP Suite fills this voice rather nicely. This set of eight classes gives the REALbasic programmer a fairly comprehensive set of tools for incorporating FTP communication into a project.

FTP Suite is comprised of several dozen methods which can be called from anywhere in your code. These methods are divided into two groups: "FTP Sequences", which comprises entire FTP communication sessions into single commands; and "FTP Commands", which allows the program to communicate with an FTP server one command at a time.

Nearly all the methods take an FTPTransferInfo object as a parameter. This object contains all the information needed to complete the transaction -- server address, file pathname, and so forth. For example, the correct way to download a file using FTP Suite's StartGetFile sequence is as follows:


where myFTPTransferInfo is an FTPTransferInfo object that has been created and populated with the pertinent information. This seems slightly counterintuitive; one might expect to use this syntax:


This small language nuance aside, the method does the job it's meant to do.

FTP Suite is designed to work with REALbasic 5.0, but includes versions of the classes that work with REALbasic 4.5 and earlier (before the SocketCore class was introduced).

In addition to a full complement of FTP commands, FTP Suite includes a class for providing user-friendly responses triggered by FTP server responses. The classes also come with German and French translations of all error messages (though, as the documentation admits, they are simply Babelfish translations of the English texts).

The FTP Suite package comes with complete documentation and a few demonstration projects. The package comes in the form of a non-standard installer, which simply copies the files to a folder of your choosing.

FTP Suite is available for freeware and shareware programmers for $29.95, and to commercial programmers for $59.95. A demonstration version of the classes, which displays a registration notice at the beginning of any FTP session, is available for download from the Pyramid Design web site.

Aside from a few quirks which are easy to ignore, FTP Suite does an excellent job of providing FTP networking capabilities to any REALbasic project.

End of article.